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Biography

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) is one of Israel’s oldest and most influential cultural institutions. Since its founding in 1936 by Polish violinist Bronisław Huberman, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra has dedicated itself to presenting the world’s greatest music to audiences in Israel and around the world. Under the leadership of Music Director Zubin Mehta, the IPO continues to act as a dynamic global community for musicians from across the world.

The orchestra’s inaugural concert was conducted by Arturo Toscanini, who participated to demonstrate his opposition to Fascism. Its members traveled in armored cars to play in a besieged Jerusalem during the War of Independence, and the orchestra performed under the leadership of IPO Laureate Conductor Leonard Bernstein in front of 5,000 soldiers on the Negev dunes after the battle for Beersheba. Through it all, the Orchestra has enjoyed associations with such renowned artists as Emanuel Ax, Daniel Barenboim, Yefim Bronfman, Yoel Levi, Yo-Yo Ma, Lorin Maazel, Honorary Guest Conductor Kurt Masur, Itzhak Perlman, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Arthur Rubinstein, Gil Shaham, Isaac Stern, and Pinchas Zukerman.

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is Israel’s premier cultural ambassador and travels extensively throughout the world, including historic visits to Japan, Argentina, Poland, Hungary, Russia, China, and India. The 2017-18 season sees the orchestra tour to China, the Republic of Georgia, and across North America, including its first trip to Canada in twenty-six years. The IPO gave its first performances under San Francisco Symphony auspices in 1984 and has returned for concerts in 1985, 1998, 2007, and 2011, all led by Music Director Zubin Mehta.

Through the efforts of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Foundation, the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and the generous support of donors worldwide, the orchestra returned to its home at Tel-Aviv's newly renamed Charles R. Bronfman Auditorium in March 2013 following extensive renovations. The Orchestra gives more than 100 performances each year in Israel with fourteen different concert series in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa. The IPO KeyNote Education and Outreach Program brings classical music to the audience of the future through music.

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra gratefully acknowledges Milton and Tamar Maltz for their generous underwriting of the Orchestra’s United States touring program, and American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra as the principal underwriter of this tour.

(October 2017)